In Slovenia, lovers have two dedicated holidays
It only makes sense that a country with the word love in its name should celebrate love with special gusto. Love is in the air year-round, but lovers can celebrate it at least on two separate occasions: first, on Valentine's Day in February, and second, on St. Gregory’s Day in March. Oral folk tradition has it that on St. Gregory’s Day birds are joined in wedlock. In the days of yore, it was custom for the maidens to look up into the sky on this day; it was believed that the first bird they would see indicated what type of husband they will end up marrying. St. Gregory’s Day is also when the first hint of spring fills the air.
Light conquers darkness
Places with a long-standing tradition of crafts and trade believed that St. Gregory “tosses the lamp into the water” as the days have become longer and artificial light is no longer needed in workshops. Over time, the tradition of crafting lamp-lit miniature boats and houses, so-called “gregorčki”, and sending them off downstream was born. This spectacle takes place on the eve of St. Gregory’s Day. Some of the tiny vessels are veritable pieces of art, and attending the custom is quite the treat. Mostly, they are made by pre-schoolers and school children. To experience the authentic feel of this special festival of light, visit Tržič, Kropa and Kamna Gorica, where it is particularly ingrained in the mentality of the townspeople. However, other places across the country have similar customs. In Ljubljana, the tiny “gregorčki” vessels are sent down the Gradaščica Stream which is a tributary of Ljubljanica. The tiny lamps are not only a symbolic ritual, but they also create an atmosphere of romance that you should not miss out.
A Feast Fit for a Royal Couple
As the old saying goes, food is the way to a person's heart; enjoy a splendid dinner in one of the castles dotting Slovenia. The heavenly vista from Bled Castle makes the selected dishes even more enjoyable. Alternatively, an exquisite wine and dine offer can also be enjoyed at Ljubljana Castle overlooking the country's capital. Prepare for a fantastic culinary journey in the Restaurant of Otočec Castle. A culinary retreat behind ancient walls, the restaurant at Tabor Castle in Laško entices the senses with dishes made from locally grown, fresh produce.
Celebrating Love Year Round
Slovenia abounds with opportunities to surprise your loved ones. Slovenian spas and wellness centres offer attractive pampering packages designed for couples. Take a stroll through the charming town centres and discover their most romantic spots. When you are in Ljubljana, walk over the Butchers' Bridge, where lovers have symbolically padlocked their love. In the lake town Bled, the promenade along the shoreline has a special feature luring the romantically inclined. A couple has to mount their individual bikes to light up the heart and a pair of swans in a team effort. For a happy end to your love story, snap a picture of the pair of you framed by the red heart and set against the idyllic backdrop of Lake Bled and Bled Island.